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Full text of "EVIDENCE OF CUBAN SUPPORT FOR KATANGAN INSURGENTS"

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evidence of 


CUBAN SUPPORT FOR KATANGAN INSURGENTS 


Tf is our judgment that the Cubans have been involved 

in training and ad|l|iag the ^ Angola 

calI_t ?l7c el ve S do not believe^thTt. t nici 
pa ted in the fighting inside a ^ ^t^anH^risiTent 

g ^arlv-hd d forehno^edee^f^he^ac^^ of th£ us 

Tiael Castro dorine his m « Havana had received 

Inte Uf tha e tiie Lanvins ue?e preparing for another incursion 

and° cl aimed 1 that he had "varned" Angolan President heto 
prevent it. 

Cuban advisers doubtless assi sted the rebel sin^their 

P r ? P~- T- § 7 7 ’ " h i ^ g ^ i g ve^ha t S t h e n C u b a n. s ^ a n d " S o v i e t s • 

on^training^ SSerHave ^en several unconfirmed reports^f^ 

*Vcr« never 

proven. 

Vi rtuallv all of the credible evidence on the character 
of Cuban other -forei gn Communist involveme n t has been 

provided [~ “ J 1 1 

I feTfrt^ss,' the wide variety of .^^“^“casehnainsi Castro 
l^la^ofa^Uu^rcUind^e^^n^Uemehr^ringthe past 
•two years. 

Castro's message to the US Government was that: 

--There are no Cubans with the Katangan forces in Shaba, 

--Cuba has had no participation either directly oi m 
directly in the Shan a affair •> 

--Cuba has provided no weapons or other material cO the 
Katangan forces, _ . 


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--Cuba- has not trained the Katangan forces, 

--Cuba has not had any contact with the Katangans for 
at least two years. 


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In our view, only the first of these assertions is correct 


I on S May- that Angola and 

Cuba had been helpi ng the insurpents. particularly with 
arms and training. | 


: was told during extensive conversations 
| | that two Cuban and six 

Angolan advisers accompanied the rebels whe n they 

started moving out of Angola in early May. 
added that Katangan "political commissars", who had been 
trained in Angola by Cubans and East Germans, were 
assigned to each group of 50 rebels, - 


stated in early May 1 0 7 8 that Cuban , Soviet , and East 
German personnel were engaged in the training of FNLC 
rebels in Angola, 


In October 1977, 


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that 1,500 FNLC recruits in 


Angola, had just completed their training and were under 
the control of Cuban and East- German instructors, 

■In August 1977. I I 

had said 

that the Cubans were training some- 2,000 Katangans in 
northeastern Angola. 


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There’ is strong evidence from other reporting that Cuban 
involvement with the FNLC preceded the first Shaba invasion. 

--In May 1977, several Katangans xho took part in the 
first Shaba incursion reported that the Angolan army 


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and its Cuban military advisers had helped train the 
insurgents and had coordinated closely in the planning 
of the invasion. 


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- - According • to | |J 

Fidel Castro told 1 ^t a 

meeting m Moscow in April 1977 that Cuba was helping 
the Katangan nationalists because once Katanga fell, 
Zaire would fall like a house of cards, 


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-- According to a Februa ry 1977 report |‘ ' 1 

. I the Katangans were not a significant 

threat until 1975 when they were reequiped and reorganized 
by Cuban advisers, 


I reported in May 1977 

tnat ms contacts had informed him that Cuban and East 
German personnel were training the insurgents in 1976 
and early 1977 and that the Cubans had controlled the 
shipment of arms and equipment from Luanda to a rebel 
training base in February 1977 , 


--In March 1976. 

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Cuba would -train and supnort Zairian 


forces opposed to President Mobutu. Castro reportedly 
described the effort as an act of revenge for the 
death of Patrice Lumumba. 


Although the FNLC now' depends' on Angola for sanctuary if 

and on Cuba and the USSR for. a continued supply of arms and j 
equipment, the FNLC probably has some freedom of action j 

regarding tactics and local objectives, and, to a degree, 
the timing of specific operations. The Cubans, Soviets, and I 
Angolans certainly must have a veto over FNLC activities,- I 

however. The rebels have received support from a number of / 

qua r t e r s - - inc 1 ud ing the Belgians and Portuguese in the early 
1960's--and they would be capable of training their own 
recruits and launching a one-shot operation independently if 
they were willing to take the risk that such wholly independent 
operations might put them at cross -purposes 'with the Cubans, 
Soviets, - and Angolans. 


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Once inside Shaba, the degree of Cuban/Soviet/Angolan 
control over them would probably be much smaller. The FNLC 


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can also draw on a l'arge number of sympathizers and 
guerrillas .in place throughout the Shaba region to support 
its operations once they are acr oss the border. According 
to | the insurgents were given 

support D)' tne population of Kolwezi during the attack; 
many townspeople willingly hid the rebels from French and 
Zairian soldiers. 


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Evidence concerning the possible presence of Cubans in 
Zaire has been sparse. The Zairians claim, howevEry— tlrat~ 
CuEan personnel ar e fighting with the-rebels | 

[ reported on May 24 that a | | citi zen 

trapped Tn Kolwe zi told a member of the cooperation commission 
that he had been spared only after conversing in Spanish with 
some Cubans. This is the most credible report to date that 
Spanish- speakers , presumably Cubans, accompanied the rebels 
into Zaire. 


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he believe Havana would not have wanted to risk having 
Cubans involved in combat in Zaire, but we cannot rule out 
the possibility that a. few Cubans did accompany the invaders 
into the Shaba region - : We presume that the Cuban leadership 
recognize that concrete proof of its involvement will be 
difficult to. obtain as long as Cuban nationals are not 
captured in Zairian territory. 


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Cuban advise rs, however, probably did accompany the rebels 
to the border. has said that the 

I II l on May 8 that 

Cuban personnel were organizing the movement of a large 
number of FNLC troops from northeastern 'Angola towards the 
Zambian border-. According to this information, the Cubans 
were accompanying this force as advisers, but there was no 
confirmation that the Cubans actually entered Zaire. This 
report was ' seemingly confirmed by the statements made by 
the two rebels to P ' I last week. 

Based -on a l im ited number of reports . I 

w e believe that t h e ^ FNLC _ h a s .received __a-r m s 

. 3 1 . P 9 V P jn £ n t from the Soviets, Cubans,' an d possibly other 

C&Ipmnnj st countries . . reported that two 

"Cuban or Soviet" ships unloaded weapons- -mostly small arms 


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and ammunition- - in Luanda harbor in early Oc tober 1 977 that 
were destined for the sole use of the FN.LC. ] 


The. insurgents very probably also receive substantial 
Communist material aid indirectly through the Angolan armed 
forces and other sources, including the open market. Weapons 
captured from the rebels during the recent fighting reportedly 
included Soviet AK-47 assault rifles, US M-16 rifles, French 
rifles, and Belgian munitions. - -- 


Soviet 


According to |> ^ v . 

and East German advisers have been training FNLC gu-errillas 


for one year and possibly longer. Most of this instruction 1 
reportedly takes place in northeastern Angola near Saurimo 
where large Cuban and Angolan military camps are also located. 


I . J have reported 

that prior to early 1977 Angolan President Neto was reluctant 
to provide assistance’ to the FNLC -and on occasion was kept 
unaware of the extent of Angolan 'and Cuban support for the 
rebels. This could explain in part why he is unwilling to 
acknowledge involvement with or responsibility for the 
rebels’ actions. Neto has promised to give refugees fleeing 
the hostilities safe passage and to release any hostages 
brought into Angola by the FNLC. 


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On May 21 

I I stating tnat any nostages arriving m Angola would 

be released and returned to their home country if. they so wished; 
■he asked in return for assurances from France and other countries 


that their forces would rot invade Anpola. 

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--claiming Cuban 

involvement .with the FNLC . Given the high probability of 
bias in these claims, we have discounted all report's from' 
Zairian- sources in making our judgments on the; extent of 
foreign in.volvement with the rebels. 


The Zairians have also claimed that A lgeria and- Llby 


have been providing support to the FNLC. 


were 


, has stated that 250 "Angolans" 

given a four month training course in Libya early this 
year.- It would be unusual to send Angolan government soldiers 
to Libya for training and the soldiers may have actually been 
members of the FNLC or some other southern African liberation 
group that has bases in Angola. The Libyaps, however, have 
vigorously denied any involvement with the Katan°ans. 


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